Sectoral Marine Plan - innovation and targeted oil and gas decarbonisation, offshore wind

Closed 20 Oct 2021

Opened 25 Aug 2021

Feedback updated 12 Jan 2023

We asked

As part of the development of the Sectoral Marine Plan for Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas decarbonisation we asked for your views on the plan specification, including the Areas of Search for new offshore wind development. The consultation ran from 25 August to 20 October 2021. 

You said

We received a total of 71 responses, the majority were from energy organisations or other marine businesses. Stakeholders responses focused on the generation capacity caps for offshore wind developments within the scope of the plan and colocation of the Areas of Search with other marine activities

We did

Responses from the consultation were used to refine the Areas of Search for new offshore wind development within the plan and captured in the initial plan framework published in February 2022 and available at  Sectoral marine plan - offshore wind for innovation and targeted oil and gas decarbonisation: initial plan framework - ( 

Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultations are now available to view online. Sectoral Marine Plan - innovation and targeted oil and gas decarbonisation, offshore wind - Scottish Government - Citizen Space ( 


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring secure, reliable and affordable energy supplies within the context of long-term decarbonisation of energy generation. Continued growth of the renewable energy sector in Scotland is an essential feature of the future clean energy system and a potential key driver of economic growth.

The development of a new Sectoral Marine Plan for offshore wind energy, specifically for smaller innovation projects and projects targeting the electrification of oil and gas infrastructure, in Scottish waters, is a key component of our progress to decarbonisation and a transition to net zero.

This established Sectoral Marine Planning process provides an iterative approach to the identification of areas suitable for the future development of offshore wind under this planning round and specification. 

This plan will look to deliver viable and sustainable offshore wind projects in areas identified as suitable for future development and examined through detailed environmental, socio-economic and spatial assessments, combined with stakeholder and public engagement. 

Why your views matter

Read the Planning Specification and Context Report

As with Previous Sectoral Marine Plans (SMP), particularly the SMP for Offshore Wind Energy, published in 2020, the planning exercise provides several opportunities to collect and evaluate feedback on the planning process.  At this early stage, initial planning specifications and Areas of Search (AoS) have been identified. 

Both the parameters and the AoS, areas identified through an opportunity and constraint analysis to have some potential for future development, are now being made available for discussion and consultation.  This is to provide a clear opportunity for all stakeholders to engage with the planning process and help shape the plan as it moves forward.

This first stage in the planning process will help gather the views of stakeholders and industry specialists to help refine the AoS into suitable options for a future seabed leasing process to be managed by Crown Estate Scotland.

We are particularly keen to hear your views on the Plan Specification, which sets out the remit of the plan, the upcoming planning and leasing process and the rules under which projects will be accepted into the planning round.

Furthermore, your views and particularly any information and data that may help refine the AoS, either through new considerations, processing of new data or strong cases for the inclusion of areas currently excluded, are most useful in helping to progress the plan according to the best available information and evidence.   

What happens next

All information and views collected through this consultation will help inform the next stages of the Sectoral Marine Planning process.

Once collated, the responses will be reviewed and any new data/informaiton assessed and, where appropriate, integrated into the spatial analysis to help refine the Areas of Search (and planning specification) into a new set of areas, known as the Initial Plan Framework (IPF).  This IPF will then form the spatial footprint for a seabed leasing process to be managed by Crown Estate Scotland. 


  • Energy
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Marine and Fisheries